Dressed in a thrilling blend of muscular Cross Country capability and the dynamic, sporty charisma of a coupé, the new Volvo XC60 is stepping boldly into one of the most competitive and fastest growing segments in the automotive world.
And Volvo Cars regards it as the safest Volvo yet, with the unique City Safety system as a standard feature and a tribute to Volvo’s firm commitment to its core value of safety.
“The XC60 sets itself aside from its rivals through its honest, functional design that is ergonomically correct, and yet, at the same time, comfortable and beautiful. The XC60 will also distinguish itself through its substantial off-road capabilities, its roominess despite its smaller exterior dimensions and its class-leading safety features,” says Bram van der Reep, managing director of Volvo Car South Africa.
According to Steve Mattin, Volvo Cars’ design director, the XC60 is the boldest crossover design yet: “This car is charged with more emotive form and far more energy than any previous Volvo model,” he says.
Mattin has set himself the goal of “turning up the visual volume” of Volvo’s models. The XC60, the first full project that he has been involved with as design chief, is a major step in this direction, with more promised from his and his colleagues’ pens.
It was not only the “visual volume” that was turned up in the new Volvo XC60 – road handling was also taken to such a high level that it inspired Hans Wikman, head of development of Volvo’s large platform cars, to describe the XC60 as “the most sporting car Volvo has ever created”.
A car that stops the traffic, and itself
The biggest single new feature in the XC60 is probably City Safety – a revolutionary system that will stop the car by itself to help the driver avoid or reduce the effects of the type of low-speed impacts that are common in city traffic and traffic tailbacks.
Volvo is the first manufacturer in the world to offer this type of feature as standard. City Safety advertises that the new XC60 is the safest car Volvo has ever produced. The car is packed with Volvo’s accumulated safety know-how and technology, both when it comes to preventing accidents and protecting all the occupants in a collision.
Surveys indicate that 75% of all reported collisions take place at speeds of up to 30 km/h. In 50% of all rear end collisions the driver has not braked at all before the collision, mainly due to distraction. In these cases, City Safety could make a crucial difference.
City Safety brakes the car automatically if the driver is about to drive into the vehicle in front. A collision can either thus be entirely avoided or if this is not possible, damage to cars and personal injuries can be reduced.
“City Safety is yet another example of Volvo’s ambition to tackle real-life traffic situations when developing solutions aimed at preventing accidents. It feels particularly satisfying that we can also offer City Safety as standard in the new Volvo XC60,” says Jonas Ekmark, manager of preventive safety at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.
City Safety is active at speeds of up to 30 km/h. If the vehicle in front brakes suddenly and City Safety determines that a collision is likely, the brakes are pre-charged. If the driver remains inactive, the car applies the brakes automatically. If the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is less than 15 km/h then City Safety may help the driver entirely avoid the collision. Between 15 and 30 km/h the focus is on reducing speed as much as possible prior to the impact.
City Safety keeps an eye on traffic in front with the help of a laser sensor that is integrated into the top of the windscreen at the height of the rear-view mirror. It can detect vehicles and other objects up to 10 m in front of the car’s front bumper.
Spiced with the very best from two car types.
As this car segment’s name so clearly reveals, Volvo Cars’ new XC60 crossover is spiced with the very best from two car types. Down below, the unmistakeable, capable XC muscles are pumped up, creating a strong athletic body that is mated with high ground clearance and large wheels. Up above, the flowing lines create the sporty charisma of a coupé.
“The XC60 is seductive and packed with thrilling contrasts. Sleek, yet muscular at the same time. Powerful, yet agile. Large, yet at the same time compact. The XC60 is actually 20 cm shorter than the XC70,” says Mattin.
The sculpted, seductive lines are particularly clear when the XC60 is viewed from the side. The car’s shoulders are exceptionally broad. Towards the front they are strengthened by an underlining sculptural undercut, and when it comes to the rear wings Mattin resorts to the sensually loaded adjective “voluptuous”.
The large wheels, the bold wheel arches and the darker livery of the body’s lower section further enhance the muscular XC feel, while the dynamic, flowing lines of the XC60’s greenhouse combined with its daring roof contour impart a sporty coupe feel to the upper part of the car.
At the front the enlarged iron mark in the trapezoidal grille of the new Volvo XC60 is a distinct signal that Volvo’s extrovert future has arrived. “The classic iron mark now gets the role it deserves. Not discreet and modest, but bold and packed with self-confidence. It is precisely this attitude that Volvo’s brand name should have,” says Mattin.
Driver is central in comfortable, roomy interior
The driver of the new Volvo XC60 should feel “like a pilot at the controls of a business jet, with your passengers sitting in First Class,” says Jonathan Disley, head of interior design for the new Volvo XC60.
“You are seated in comfort, surrounded by ergonomically designed instruments and you really feel that you are on top of the traffic situation around you. The XC60 has more intelligent safety systems than any previous Volvo. That’s why I want the entire driver’s environment to radiate a high-tech feel.”
The same bold approach followed with the exterior design, is also evident on the inside of the new Volvo XC60. The stitched seams of the unique, sculpted XC60 seats have a pronounced X-theme. “Cross Country, Cross City or Cross Over. Choose for yourself which interpretation suits you best,” says Disley.
The seats are available in a wide variety of colours and materials. “Choosing colour and trim is about expressing your personality, so we have developed a rich palate of attributes that customers with a taste for individuality can choose from,” says Anders Sachs, programme chief designer colour and trim for the XC60.
Turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine and a powerful turbodiesel
The new Volvo XC60 is launched with the six-cylinder turbocharged 3.0T engine producing 210 kW and the five-cylinder D5 turbodiesel that delivers 136 kW and 400 Nm of torque. All Wheel Drive (AWD) with Instant Traction is fitted as standard on all variants.
Both engine versions come with the automatic Geartronic gearbox, which offers manual gearshift as an option.
Owing to its compact dimensions – the XC60 is 20 cm shorter than the XC70 and its profile is lower than the XC90 – it continues Volvo’s range of slimmed-down car models with high energy efficiency.
The chassis setting is of the XC60 is aggressively sporty with excellent driving dynamics, but without losing anything in terms of comfort. Sitting behind the wheel of the new Volvo XC60 is in other words more of a car-like driving experience, without diminishing the Cross Country abilities that make the XC60 such a versatile vehicle.
World-class audio system.
Volvo’s world-class audio systems are part of the First Class experience inside the new XC60. The highest level, the optional Premium Sound sytem, features 12 Dynaudio loudspeakers and an amplifier with Dolby Pro Logic II Surround delivering 5 x 130 Watt. An optional digital subwoofer under the floor in the XC60’s load compartment provides an additional 260 Watt.
The sound can be optimised to suit three different situations – driver’s seat, both front seats or rear seat.
Volvo’s mid-level High Performance sound system is standard equipment in the XC60 range in South Africa. It includes 8 High Performance loudspeakers, a 4 x 40 Watt amplifier and an integrated 6-disk front-loading CD player.
The High Performance and Premium Sound systems have a function to play MP3 and WMA-format CDs, which means the CD changer can store several hundred tracks. Both systems provide an auxiliary (AUX) input jack for connecting equipment such as a portable MP3 player or iPod, and a USB port also makes it possible to plug in an iPod, MP3 player or USB memory stick with music tracks.
Clean Zone Interior for added comfort
In order to give allergy sufferers an even better in-car climate, the new Volvo XC60 can be equipped with Clean Zone Interior, a system that is based on ECC (Electronic Climate Control) and IAQS (Interior Air Quality System).
When the car is unlocked with the remote control, the passenger compartment is automatically ventilated for about a minute if the outdoor temperature is above 10 0C. Clean Zone Interior has been recommended by the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association.
The interior trim materials and other details have been selected to give off minimum levels of dangerous substances.
The new XC60 is also the first Volvo that meets the forthcoming European Union standard for type approval regarding reusability, recyclability and recoverability.
Target group with high demands on technology
The Volvo XC60 project has its sights set on a target group that imposes high demands on design, brand integrity and high-tech content in its choice of lifestyle products.
One might say that it’s all about consumers who have grown up with the microchip as a natural supplement to their breakfast cereal. They’re used to the immensely fast pace of development in the world of electronics – and every succeeding birthday has brought with it increased capacity in ever-shrinking gift packages.
When it comes to the choice of car, these consumers adopt the same view as they do for other lifecycle products, that is to say all the properties should preferably be integrated into one single attractive and intelligent package.
It can be said that this could be the C30 owner’s next car. It is as sporty and exciting, but way more capable – an all-round car for the person who lives single in the city and for the young family taking the kids for a weekend of fun and adventure.
With the XC60 Volvo is aiming primarily at lifestyle rather than age and the company is broadening its model range to attract even more customers with an active urban lifestyle. Like the Volvo C30, the XC60 plays an important role in Volvo’s model expansion strategy.
The new Volvo XC60, built at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium, is expected to make a big impression in the segment for crossovers or compact SUVs in South Africa. “We are aiming at a segment share just short of 30% and a sales volume of about 60 XC60s per month,” says Craig Roberts, national sales operations manager of Volvo Car South Africa.
Volvo’s new DNA, its ‘Dramatic New Approach’
The new Volvo XC60 represents a benchmark in many respects: It displays a dramatic and exciting new design approach, and it blends classic Volvo attributes of comfort and functionality with dynamic road-holding and stability that makes it a sporty, desirable competitor in the segment for compact SUVs.
Mattin says he and his team have designed the new Volvo XC60 with a very clearly defined goal: “We’re elevating our design DNA to an entirely new level by literally turning up the visual volume. If you say that you’d recognise a Volvo from a hundred metres away today, I’d say the XC60 radiates a clear Volvo presence from at least twice that distance.”
According to Mattin, Volvo’s traditional interpretation of DNA signified ‘Do Not Abandon’ the design traditions. With the Volvo XC60 project, says Mattin, they have now “expanded its significance to also include the more exciting ‘Dramatic New Approach’.”
The new Volvo XC60 needs to make such a bold statement because it enters a rapidly expanding and very competitive segment in the car market.
“This is where you have to stick your chin out and create a car that stands out from the crowd. The new Volvo XC60 does just that, with its unique appeal in the synthesis between a daringly sporty design, dynamic handling qualities and a range of intelligent safety systems that help the driver avoid accidents,” says Michelle Naudé, marketing manager of Volvo Car South Africa.